Tekaramity (Interviewer) & Anderson, W. K. (Interviewee). (2011, June 29). Interview: Will Anderson (Friendship is Magic score composer) [Interview transcript]. Retrieved from Equestria Daily web site: http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/06/interview-will-anderson-friendship-is.html
Anderson, the background music composer for MLPFiM, discusses his history, his process, and the orchestral elements of the show. Modern instruments are still employed, but both he and Faust have wanted to find a signature sound for each character.
Anderson’s work has greatly influenced the show in two ways. First, as both he and Tekaramity mention multiple times, each character does have does have a signature stylistic influence on the background music. It’s never quite a leitmotif, but the music (or, sometimes, its absence or distortion, when characters aren’t quite feeling their usual selves) does a wonderful job in setting the tone in each scene. The scene in “Suited for Success” mentioned by Tekaramity is definitely the most triumphant example of this. Second, the music is almost never simply reused (thus the lack of leitmotifs); certainly similar-sounding pieces will occur, but Anderson puts together a full score every time. This variety helps the show avoid feeling repetitive, a major downfall of many children’s shows.